What diet do you follow?
I do not believe in the term 'diet'. I prefer a nutritious and healthy meal that [becomes] a way of life.
What is your daily food plan?
My breakfast is fruits and black coffee. I usually have a bowl of papaya, dragon fruit or an apple. Mid-morning, I eat oat chillas (crepe) for carbs. I love my Indian home-cooked food. My favourite vegetables are pumpkin, cauliflower and bhindi (okra) and for protein, I add some lentils. I usually repeat my lunch for dinner. Midday, I snack on seeds, nuts, cucumber or a fruit and have my second and last cup of black coffee.
What is the best part about the diet you follow?
It is nutritional and easy to maintain and I stick to it, no matter where I am.
How has it helped you in terms of weight loss and fitness?
I try and be vegetarian when I am at home. If I am at a restaurant or travelling, then I am a pescatarian. Ever since I switched to vegetarian food, I have felt lighter, happier, less moody and more energised. I have never really been to a dietician or followed any plan as I have never had to make any drastic changes. But over the years, I have met many people and taken inspiration from them to plan my meals—whether it was including salmon in my diet for omega-3, or the benefits of several seeds and plant-based protein. I think everything is easily available online today and it also helps that a lot of organic and healthy food restaurants have come up.
The one thing that has worked for me is reducing my salt and oil intake and giving up refined sugar completely. I took a food intolerance test once when I realised I was intolerant to gluten and lactose, and giving up those have helped cut down the bloating. It is important to understand your own body. What works for me does not necessarily work for you. Everything in moderation and balanced is a healthy and sustainable way of living.
What about cheat days?
I could live on sushi and south Indian food. These are two cuisines that make me super happy! I can never resist a chocolate dessert. I do not dedicate a day of the week to cheat, but if I am on holiday or celebrating an occasion or festival, then I allow myself to enjoy the food. All I do is portion control and make sure I go back to my routine the next day. Having said that, I feel a cheat meal is important once in a while to shock your body and change things up.
Was there a time when you starved yourself?
I have never starved. My only vice in life is getting hangry (angry when hungry). So I have to eat when I feel hungry. I could not possibly put myself through that.
Was there any diet you followed which did not work?
I have never tried a diet. It is a fad, and in my opinion, anything that cannot become a lifestyle is not worth it, nor is it healthy to sustain. No quick fixes, in my opinion.